2011-12 Women's Basketball
Defiance 63, Bluffton 53
Defiance pulls away late in first half for 63-53 win over Beavers
January 4, 2012
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team outscored Defiance College 36-29 in the second stanza, but the visitors held on for a 63-53 win over the Beavers on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. Bluffton slipped to 2-10 overall and 0-5 in the Heartland Conference, while Defiance moved to 5-7 on the season and 3-2 in the HCAC.
The Beavers opened the scoring with back-to-back jumpers by freshman Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and sophomore Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop). The Yellow Jackets added two points of their own, but those were quickly followed by a layup from Burkholder. At the 14:56 mark Defiance tied the game before freshman Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) dropped in a jumper for an 8-6 Bluffton edge.
The Beavers opened up a five-point spread (14-9) before the Yellow Jackets found their stride with a 7-1 spurt for a 16-15 lead. The Beavers quickly retaliated with a Kurilec layup at the 6:54 mark of the first half, but the visitors closed the stanza with an impressive 18-point jag that gave Defiance a commanding 34-17 lead at the break.
The Beavers came out clawing in the second half and once again made their mark on the scoreboard. Junior Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) and Burkholder put up eight points points in the first five minutes with all four assists coming from senior Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee). At the 15:10 mark the Beavers cut the Yellow Jackets lead to 10 with a layup by Hutton.
The Yellow Jackets stormed back with six points of their own. The Beavers again cut Defiance's lead to 10 with back-to-back three-pointers from senior Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity). At the 8:18 mark a hoop-and-harm from Stegmaier pulled the Beavers within nine points (44-35).
The Beavers cut the Yellow Jackets' lead to nine three more times, but that was as close as Bluffton could get. Kurilec finished the scoring with a layup as Defiance capped off their 63-53 victory.
Stegmaier led the Beavers with 13 points. Hutton and Kurilec contributed nine and a career-high eight points, respectively. Burkholder led the Beavers with eight rebounds while Coburn pulled down seven boards. Lewis paced Bluffton with six assists. Hannah Harshman led the Yellow Jackets with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and nine boards.
Bluffton hit 19-of-55 (34.5 percent) from the field, compared to 26-of-64 (40.6 percent) for the visitors. The Beavers converted 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from distance, while Defiance was 0-11 from behind the arc. The Beavers knocked down 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) at the line. The Yellow Jackets made 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) at the charity stripe. Defiance turned the ball over 14 times while forcing 17 miscues by the Beavers.
The Beavers play Hanover at home on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. The contest is slated to tip at 1 p.m. in Founders Hall.